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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ogre Kingdoms Now & Then - The Now Part 3 - Rares

<-- Saramoff's own Thundertusk! We are back again with the new Ogre Kingdoms rares review by Saramoff.

Scraplauncher: Another thing that's been made cheaper. The scraplauncher has much more simplified rules. It's exactly the same as before, except it's also a large target. It counts as a chariot as it did before but no longer has to take a leadership test to see if it charges a nearby enemy. On top of that, it can move and fire and it has a misfire chart that isn't as bad.

The catch is your scraplauncher got reduced to a small template. With something like the scraplauncher, this is the most important thing. Due to the smaller size, much less models are hit and thus, less damage and killing blows are produced. This reduction in targets hit, wounded and outright killed if they're infantry means the Scraplauncher has lost 30 points and has lost a lot of it's killing power.

You can control it better and all in all, a rain of S3 with killing blow may kill some rank and file infantry, but it won't kill as much as this warchariotmachine should. Even at a reduced price, it seems hard to want to use one. It's also competing for space with the next entry, which makes it a hard choice to justify.

Ironblaster: The new kid on the block. Ogres needed some artillery and they truly got some Ogre sized artillery. With competition in this slot between it, the scraplauncher and the monsters, it needs to really show us what it can do.

And boy, does it ever.

It's a chariot (we'll get to this later) with 1 gnoblar scrapper, 1 leadbelcher, a rhinox and a big old cannon strapped in the middle of all of it. Large target, fear. The cannon itself is a 36" range, S10, multiple wound D6 beast. Although it has less range than an empire or dwarf cannon, it can move and shoot. When you fire, you roll 2 artillery dice and pick the highest for your bounce. This isn't as huge at first glance, seeing as it specifically states you misfire if you misfire on the first dice. On average however, you get a better distance on your bounce which means more men hit and more damage caused.

Although it doesn't have the range of other cannons, neither of them can boast a S10 grapeshot. There is going to be something nasty about your enemy's warmachine hunters facing a S10 face shredding grapeshot. Seeing as you can shoot and move, there's no reason not to, which means you can set yourself up for better shots constantly. Other cannons can't afford such a luxury, which means you can add an effective 6" to your cannon. 42" on the move makes the Ironblaster very mobile and very threatening.
For 170 points, this is quite a sturdy, powerful cannons. Regardless if you don't think it's worth that price, Ogres need artillery and range and any chance to grab it is something worth taking. An Ironblaster will invariably benefit your army.

It's strange to note that this and the Scraplauncher are both chariots. Not only do they gain D6 impact hits but seeing as they aren't technically a warmachine, they're exempt from rules that govern warmachines. Ironcurse Icons won't grant you a ward save as they don't protect you from chariots. This also means with an Ironblaster you're allowed a stand and shoot reaction.

A stand and shoot S10 grapeshot.

Obviously, most people will say that's not working as intended, but no doubt an FAQ will be posted to correct it all, or simply tell us we can use a S10 grapeshot to annihilate warmachine hunters. Either way, I'd probably recommend you settle with your opponent on what will and won't work and if you do get the benefits of a chariot.

Giant: Another 2 pages of reading about a Giant's special rules. Goddamnit.

Stats are the same. Your giant, which isn't a slave no longer as Ogres seemed to ask nicely in this book, now has stubborn. Large target, terror. No longer moves over obstacles. Still the same convulted dice chart attacks.

There are a few minor changes. The size category has been streamlined so you know exactly what gets what attacks. Throttle With Chain is now Thump With Club, which requires an initiative test instead. When you roll for wounds, if you roll a double you lose all your attacks for the next turn. Stuff Into Bag actually removes a model as a casualty. Throw Back Into Combat makes a casualty out of the thrown model too. Hurl also removes the model as a casualty. Other than that, still a pile of rules.

Giants, no longer being slaves, cost you 25 points more. At 200 points, your slave giant will still take two cannonballs and fall over, probably hurting your own ranks in the process. Whilst it does have such a downside it can cause quite a lot of damage. No impact hits but it can thunderstomp, and several attacks will deal a lot of pain to the enemy. If you can get it into combat with something 'big' then it will really cause hell.
Ultimately, still a 'fun' and random unit that attracts cannonballs in the end. When the two new monsters are 50 points dearer, the giant can still be used if you're starved for points. Can cause a lot of damage if it makes it past the volley of cannonballs and warmachine fire. Still has no armour.

Stonehorn: Of the two new monsters, the Stonehorn is more obvious, straight forward and easier to gauge. It costs 250 points and has a normal monster statline (WS3, S, T and W all at 6, low initiative and a lot of attacks). In fact, it gets 6 attacks due to frenzy but this will also make it harder to control. This isn't much of an issue anyway.

Frenzied units want to charge stuff. Stonehorns are really good at charging stuff. It's a match made in heaven.

Upon a Stonehorn lies either a beast rider or a Hunter. We'll assume a rider, as Hunters have already been discussed. It's a normal ogre with a chaintrap, but can swap it for a hbarpoon launcher at no extra cost. Having longer range, higher strength, no move or shoot due to being mounted and killing blow doesn't matter when you puncture stuff dead anyway it's a worthwhile consideration.

Stonehorns have a 4+ armour save, which is alright but doesn't help much against the biggest threat to monsters. Strangely enough, Games Workshop knows that Monsters hate multiple wound shots such as cannonballs and saw it fit that the Stonehorn halves all multiple wounds, rounded up. At worst, it means a minimum of 2 cannonballs are needed to kill you. At best, it means your Stonehorn shrugs them off and actually reaches combat to unleash hell.

Stonehorns replace their attacks with 3d3 impact hits, 3d3+3 if they roll 10 or more. Seeing as you get 6 normal attacks anyway and the average number of impact hits you get is 6, this can only really benefit you. They automatically hit and they hit hard. Afterwards, it still gets 3 rider attacks and a Thunderstomp, which means it can potentially hit quite hard.

Is it worth 250 points? It can certainly cause a lot of hell if it reaches combat and due to it's high amount of wounds and the ability to limit multiple wounds, it can certainly make it's M7 worthwhile. Stonehorns can either add a more aggressive element to a list or add yet another in-your-face threat for the enemy to deal with. The better question to ask is if it fits your army better than a Thundertusk or if your army would do better without.

Thundertusk: The second beast adds a different angle for being a monster; a more supportive role. It costs the same as a Stonehorn, only has a 5+ armour save and loses an attack in the process. It has no impact hits either, so it's not nearly as aggressive enough. As stated just now, it's more of a support beast.

First of all, it comes with 2 riders. One with a chaintrap, one with a harpoon launcher with no ability to swap them out. The Thundertusk itself has a stonethrower attack with a 24" max range, S3(6) and causes D3 wounds. If the Thundertusk doesn't march, it can even do this as it moves, and due to the Smooth Ride rule the rider doesn't get move and shoot penalties either. Whilst still having similarish monster stats, this means it can do some decent shooting and still cause some pain, with 2 riders to help add more attacks.

Other than a focus on shooting, anything within 6" of the Thundertusk belonging to your enemy has the Always Strikes Last rule. As currently ruled, this even negates the High Elf army benefit (seeing as the FAQ specifies that High Elves ignore Always Strikes Last on their weapons and only that), meaning they won't get their rerolls and anything else will find a mouth full of ironfist before they can attack. Due to this, you want your Thundertusk on the front row to help support your ogres.

The bad thing about this is if it gets into combat, and it usually will, you can't use the shooting it's been given. Luckily, you're not always in combat, so you'll do a mixture of both. Thundertusks being support beasts mean they can help both elements quite well, providing a monster that's never useless if it does one thing or another.

Thundertusks are better with an army that needs the support elements and has enough aggression in their list, which means most lists can easily take one in. Their Always Strikes Last aura will vastly help any Ogre army compensate for their low initiative, so it's value if it actually reaches those enemy lines is increased. Again, warmachines will ruin your day. You'll need some warmachine hunters in your list in order to help protect your Thundertusk, but then again most lists usually have those anyway.

We'll be looking at Lords and Heroes next but not until after the weekend!

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